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Lantern gala entertains audiences nationwide

By WANG RU | China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-07 09:16
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To celebrate Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the height of Spring Festival celebrations, China Media Group broadcast the annual Lantern Festival Gala on Sunday, showcasing iconic art forms and elements of traditional Chinese culture, and winning plaudits from home and abroad.

According to China Media Group, on Sunday, 146 hashtags related to the gala, from discussions about the performers to the creativity in various performances, trended on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform.

CMG broadcast and reported on the gala in 68 languages for global audiences, with China Global Television Network publishing more than 1,000 reports on the gala through its English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian channels. They have been viewed over 132 million times, according to CMG.

It's a tradition for Chinese people to take part in lantern shows and admire festive lantern decorations during the festival, which falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month.

Animation and videos were added to a performance of how lantern decorations were made so that people from different parts of the country could see how other people celebrate the festival.

There was a performance of the song Slow, Slow Tune, which combines Suzhou Pingtan, a singing and storytelling style originating in Suzhou, Jiangsu province and Peking Opera, and is sung in Cantonese and Suzhou dialects, and in English. It showcases the culture of Jiangnan, the regions around the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

"The gala combined traditional culture and fashion, and showed folk customs and intangible cultural heritage with a modern and international expression," said Peng Hengli, director of Henan University's intangible cultural heritage research center.

Another eye-catching display was staged by China's national rhythmic gymnastics team, which combined elements of traditional Chinese culture.

"The TV performance was very beautiful. The changing background's visual effects amazed us. It seemed totally different from our show we do in competitions," said Sun Dan, the team's coach.

Another highlight was a comedy mime act, involving two prop masters stumbling into a dance performance and ultimately paying tribute to the ordinary people who always fulfill their duties.

Since no program was released before the official broadcast, many audience members were excited to discover what the two-hour show would entail. CMG's lantern gala broadcast attracted 6.3 percent of the total share of TV audiences in China, much higher than local gala broadcasts.

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